I thought Desantis was all about supposedly respecting the rights of parents to make choices for their kids?Apparently, not if those choices conflict with his political agenda and ambition. pic.twitter.com/r1ICsX3NTm— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) March 3, 2022
A Tampa-area news outlet reports
In a video that has been viewed millions of times, Gov. Ron DeSantis asked a group of Hillsborough County High School students to remove their masks during his press conference at USF Wednesday morning on new state funding for cybersecurity education.
“I would tell (the governor) to stop bullying kids,” Kevin Brown Sr. told News Channel 8 in an exclusive interview. His son is one of the seven students from Middleton High School at the press conference.
Dawn Marshall told News Channel 8 she is very upset about how the governor spoke to her son and the other students, adding she had told him to wear a mask in school.
“You do not have to wear those masks,” Gov. DeSantis said. “I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”
Marshall said her initial reaction to seeing her Eric in the video was “he knows I’m gonna say something, his eyebrows went up and he looked shocked.”
“It’s just shocking that the governor told these kids take off your mask,” she said. “He pretty much said take off your mask, it’s stupid, and take off your mask your parents don’t matter.”
This is a funny, not-so-funny turn of events for the right-wing governor. In October, defending the practice of threatening officials at school board meetings, DeSantis claimed
As we continue to see the use of fear and intimidation to suppress opposition to the regime, we’re going to find new ways to be able to empower parents’ rights to decide what is best for their children. Parents across the state should know that their freedoms are going to be protected here, and that the state of Florida has your back.
Shorter DeSantis: it's not the right of parents to recommend their children wear a mask in school but it's the prerogative of a governor to go around the parents to intimidate the young people.
It's really not surprising, however. The governor who in October (and no doubt now) would argue that Florida parents "should know that their freedoms are going to be protected" believes that a female parent should not have any right to terminate a pregnancy beyond the fifteenth week. Power to tell a teacher what to teach? Of course. Power to end a pregnancy? Certainly not. And certainly not the power to persuade their own child to wear a mask in school.
It's almost enough to make one think that Ron DeSantis is thinking less of parents and children in Florida than likely voters in a Republican presidential primary.